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plain & simple Posts

Parallel Play

Acrostic (http---instagr.am-p-KN5iJYnx2g-)

In worship, Sunday morning, I realized that I like these people, but we don’t have much in common. We stumble through each song. We have trouble getting along so much of the time. There are so many negative feelings that I associate with this group. But washing over it all, I feel love. Inexplicably, I do love them.

In this love, however, I continue to experience frustration as well. 1) It seems we are more interested in programs than people. 2) There is so little opportunity for communion with each other as a part of our worship. 3) Physically, all our attention is on the platform. We are so separated.

It seems we are more interested in programs than people.

Driving to Kansas

Blue car. Green house. #Boise (http---instagr.am-p-K5x4imHx07-)

My brother finished his first year of college this week. I’m driving to Kansas today to pick him up and bring him home for the summer. It’s a long drive from here to there, so I plan for the shortened week I’ll face on my return. There are things that have to get done, and time keeps ticking into the future. That’s where I spend much of my days — in the future, thinking, planning, strategizing, worrying. But I don’t believe that’s where I’m called to live.

“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” Jesus asks. Later, he offers this advice: “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

It’s advice that makes sense, but I find it’s almost impossible to let go of my plans and petty concerns. God calls me to live in the now and experience life as He created it — one day at a time. Instead, I race ahead, looking to what comes next, concerned by my preconceived notion of what may or may not occur. And I too often miss the treasure God has created for me in this moment.

God, help me to grow up. Teach me to calm down. Guide me in your love. I desire Your peace, but I don’t know how to get there.

Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Who Needs a Million?

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There’s a billboard in town that tracks how many millions of dollars wait to be won in each week’s Powerball lottery. The number’s been over 100 the last two times I passed. It seems excessive. Even $1 million is more than I’m on track to make in a lifetime of work at my current salary. I’ve tried to calculate how I might spend the money (assuming I bought a ticket and won), but I tend to run out of ideas after the first $100,000 or so. Maybe I lack imagination.

But then I’m reminded of a commitment I made just over two years ago. While reading a book on simple living, I felt God’s call on my life for total surrender. I realized I’d given of my time and interests, but I had withheld my finances. Not consciously. I tithed regularly and donated as I could. But when I reviewed my expenses, I noted that close to $2 out of every $3 I earned were earmarked for costs associated with owning a home. I couldn’t remember God promising me a house or making it a priority that I have one. And I know there’s no record of Jesus — raised as the son of a carpenter — taking time to prepare a residence on earth. So I sold it.

And something interesting happened.

I suddenly had more money than I knew what to do with. I had not yet developed the discipline of giving, but God — always patient for me to pay attention — opened my eyes to genuine need in my own community. Then, this last year, God helped me take the next step, and I reduced my hours at work so I might have more time to pursue Him, to discover what God created me to be, to experiment with living.

I tend to run out of ideas after the first $100,000

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